In recent years, going gluten-free has become increasingly popular. However, our food choice shouldn’t be about what’s trendy, but what’s healthy. That’s why we’ll discuss the benefits of a gluten-free diet for both people who are gluten intolerant and those who are not. This infamous protein, named after glue due to its cohesive properties, can be found in grains like wheat, barley, and oats. Its reputation owes to the health issues it can cause such as gluten allergy and celiac disease.
Gluten intolerance is characterized by a number of unpleasant symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, migraines, joint pain, and depression. The most severe form of this gluten-related condition is an autoimmune disorder called coeliac or celiac disease. People suffering from this disease can’t eat foods containing gluten as it triggers an immune reaction in the small intestine.
However, there are people who don’t have celiac disease but still experience discomfort after consuming gluten, meaning that they are sensitive to this protein. Although this condition is a mild form of gluten-related disorder, it can cause various health issues.
In order to get rid of gluten-related problems, you have to follow a strict gluten-free diet. It’s always best to stick to fresh foods such as fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, dairy products and nuts. You can also include gluten-free grains in your diet and just some of them are rice, corn, flax, chia, and quinoa.
There are also a great number of alternatives to wheat flour, so make sure to be well-informed about your food options as there’s no reason not to enjoy your gluten-free life. This infographic created by the people over at MedAlertHelp contains just the right amount of information to get you started.
Health Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet
People who have any kind of gluten intolerance need to change their diet and avoid all types of foods containing gluten as this is the only solution to their health problems. However, going gluten-free can bring benefits to people without gluten-related issues, too. Generally speaking, products containing gluten, such as bread or pasta, can have a negative effect on your health. Some of the greatest advantages of a gluten-free diet are listed below.
Improved digestion – Gluten-free foods will help you relieve stomach pain and eliminate symptoms such as bloating and gas issues. This type of diet is also helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome.
Decreased cholesterol – High cholesterol levels pose a serious threat to your cardiovascular health. Since a gluten-free diet is mostly based on fresh fruit, vegetables, and nuts, it helps you reduce the intake of processed foods, which tend to increase cholesterol levels.
Lowers the risk of serious diseases – As we already mentioned, going gluten-free reduces the risk of heart problems. In addition, those experiencing gut irritability when consuming foods with gluten should be particularly careful as they are more prone to certain types of cancer. A gluten-free diet can considerably lower this risk.
Losing weight – Today many people follow a gluten-free diet in order to lose weight. Although gluten is not directly responsible for gaining weight, this type of diet can help you slim down since you will probably cut down on cookies, pastries, and similar foods.
As you can see, there is a lot of benefits of going gluten-free. However, it’s extremely important to be aware that a gluten-free diet can also have some adverse effects on your health as gluten-free foods often lack fiber and some critical nutrients.
So, before deciding to completely eliminate gluten from your diet, consult with an expert in nutrition. Even if you have to avoid food products containing gluten for medical reasons, you need to find a way to achieve a well-balanced diet.